●1980: Shenzhen Special Economic Zone established
On August 26, 1980, the 15th meeting of the Standing Committee of the Fifth National People's Congress decided to approve the decision of the State Council to establish special economic zones in Shenzhen, Zhuhai, and Shantou in Guangdong Province, as well as in Xiamen in Fujian Province. The "Ordinance of Special Economic Zones in Guangdong Province" released by the State Council in 1980 encouraged businesspeople and enterprises to inject funds, establish factories or venture factories, and start enterprises or other industries in the special economic zones, and the government would provide them with proper concessions in various aspects such as taxes, finance, land and labor wages. The four special economic zones, covering a total area of nearly 526.3 square kilometers, adopted different management systems from other places in Chinese mainland. The companies in the economic zones are mainly joint ventures, cooperative enterprises, and wholly foreign-owned enterprises, which has proved that diverse economic sectors can peacefully coexist with the state sector of the national economy in the four zones.
●1981: Shenzhen upgraded to a sub-provincial city
In March 1981, Shenzhen was upgraded to a sub-provincial city.
●1982: “Time is Money, Efficiency is Life”
The official establishment of the poster “Time is Money, Efficiency is Life” at the crossing of Shekou Industrial Road shook the entire country. This poster is considered as the most famous and the most influential slogan in China. Put forward by Yuan Geng, the founder of the Shekou Industrial Park, the slogan inspired the entire country like spring thunder and audaciously interpreted the market-directed economy.
●1983: First joint-stock enterprise in Shenzhen established
China’s first share “Shenbaoan” was issued in 1983, marking the birth of the first joint-stock enterprise in Shenzhen.
●1984: Deng Xiaoping visited Shenzhen on his first South China tour
On January 25, 1984, Deng Xiaoping, chief designer of the opening up and reform policy, visited fishing villages near the Sham Chun River, which separates Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Deng's words were full of love and care like the spring rain moistening the villagers' hearts. The great changes in the fishing villages and Shenzhen left a deep impression on him. After leaving Shenzhen, Deng gladly wrote an inscription, "The development experiences of Shenzhen have proved that we are right to implement the policy of special economic zones."
●1985: Preparations began for the construction of the OCT.
In 1985, preparations began for the construction of the Overseas Chinese Town (OCT), a curtain-raiser to the large-scale construction of theme parks in Chinese mainland.
●1986: Exploration of a joint-stock system in state-owned enterprises began
With the economic development of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, the enterprises in the special economic zone gradually needed more capital to expand production. Therefore Shenzhen formulated “The Interim Provisions on Trial Points of a Joint-stock System in State-owned Enterprises in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone." Some enterprises conducted the joint-stock system reform, with some even issuing shares.
●1987: The CPC Shenzhen Committee summarized the "spirit of Shenzhen" as "exploration, innovation and dedication."
In 1987, the CPC Shenzhen Committee convened an ideological and political work conference and summed up the "spirit of Shenzhen" as "exploration, innovation and dedication."
●1988: Shenzhen was listed separately in the state plan
In November 1988, the State Council approved Shenzhen to be listed separately in the state plan and gave the city provincial-level economic management authority.
●1989: Millions of people began to pour into Shenzhen
In 1989, millions of people moved to Shenzhen, forming a special tide of emigration. Shenzhen became one of the earliest cities gathering migrant workers.
●1990: The Shenzhen Stock Exchange was established
In 1990, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange was established and became one of the two major stock exchanges in Chinese mainland.